Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey: Week 10 Forecaster

Heading into December the condensed schedule is having an impact on teams as they are experiencing longer than average road trips and back to back games. With injuries already a major problem in the league, the tight scheduling will help your fantasy team streak forward or lag behind if they falter.

4 Games - Anaheim, Colorado, Columbus, Detroit, Florida, Nashville, Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Toronto

3 Games - Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Rangers, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Vancouver, Washington

2 Games - Carolina, Edmonton, New York Islanders, Philadelphia, Phoenix

Toronto - vs. Buffalo, @ Montreal, @ Columbus, @ Boston

A big week for the Leafs will end with Phil Kessel’s return to Boston. Look for Kessel to continue piling up the shots as well as adding to his goal total. Leadign scorer Tomas Kaberle is at a point per game pace and will continue to produce on the powerplay. With Toskola on the shelf, Gustavsson should get 3 of the 4 starts of the week.

Pittsburgh - @ New York Rangers, vs. Colorado, vs. Chicago

The reinforcements have returned from the infirmary and Pittsburgh is healthy once again. With the return of Gonchar, Eaton and Orpik returning, their blueline is once again healthy and potent. Alex Goligoski returned with a 2 point night but is questionable once again with another injury. Be sure to reserve him for this week until he can come back at 100%. Crosby continues to roll as he had a 5 point night against the Rangers. Look for him to continue his hot streak this week.

Nashville - vs. Calgary, @ Minnesota, @ Chicago, vs. Minnesota

Pekka Rinne continues to help the Predators rebound from a dismal start to the season. With 4 games this week, Rinne should see 3 starts with Ellis seeing 1. Shea Weber continues to lead the Predators in defensive points with 15 and is their catalyst on the powerplay. JP Dumont has quietly led the Preds in scoring averaging close to a point per game.

New Jersey - vs. Vancouver, vs. Tampa Bay, vs. Detroit

The Devils have the fewest goals against in the league and are starting to light the lamp more often. With the return of Patrick Elias, the Devils are quietly producing point per game players. Parise, Zajac, Langenbrunner and Elias are all averaging a point per game pace so with Clarkson out 4-6 weeks with an injury, they should continue to challenge Pittsburgh for the divisional lead.

Edmonton - @ Detroit, @ Dallas

With only two games this week, the Oilers are looking for any kind of relief they can get. The injury bug has decimated the club and they will lean more heavily on Penner, Brule and goaltender Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers. Having only 2 wins in the last 10 games, look for Edmonton to struggle on this road trip as they seem demoralized with leading scorer Ales Hemsky and starting goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin out.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey: Rookie Report

It's been a few weeks, lets take a look at how the NHL's top rookies are impacting your fantasy leagues.

James van Riemsdyk (RW), PHI - 18GP, 6G, 12A, 18P
JVR is now the only rookie averaging at least a point per game. The 21 year-old has however slowed down of late and he may be starting to tire from the pace of the NHL. Remember, this kid just spent 3 years playing college hockey and isn't used to a full NHL schedule. He has just 1 point in his past 3 games and played only 11:13 against Colorado.

Fantasy Impa
If you have JVR, I would recommend trading him to an owner who buys his impressive start. He'll struggle with the grind of the NHL season and may even see a late-season demotion to the AHL. Sell High and get an asset that will help you all season.

John Tavares (C), NYI -
24GP, 9G, 10A, 19P
Tavares has struggled of late with no points in his last 3 games. His ice-time in those games had fluctuated from 15 minutes to 21 minutes. When this kid is going, he is gonna get the ice-time and with ice-time comes points. Tavares will continue to have hot and cold stretchs throughout the year but will get to play through the tough times. The Islanders are investing in this 18 year-old and fantasy owners can feel comfortable doing the same.
Fantasy Impact:
Try to jump an a Tavares owner during one of his dry spells. This kid is for real and should have a Stamkos-type finish to the season. Grab him off an impatient owner if you can.

Artem Anisimov (C), NYR - 23GP, 5G, 6A, 11P
Okay, the numbers still aren't great but it is the ice-time that encourages us with Anisimov. He is on an upward trend and played 16:45 against Columbus -puttinh up 1 goal and 2 assists. He also saw some time playing with Marian Gaborik. We have been telling you about this guy for a while and if you don't act soon, you may lose out on an impactful rookie.
Fantasy Impact:
Grab him off waivers if you can, he is the rookie that may have the biggest upside the rest of the year - outside of Tavares.

Ryan O'Reilly (C), COL - 24GP, 4G, 13A, 17P
As we speculated earlier in the year, O'Reilly has come back down to earth. He was never a big scorer in junior and anyone expecting him to be a point-per-game NHL rookie had another thing coming. O'Reilly has 3 assists in his past 7 games, but more importantly, his ice-time has been on a downward spiral - averaging just 13 minutes over the past 2 games. He is a good two-way forward but he could very well struggle to post 45 points this year and is no where near being a point-per-game player.
Fantasy Impact:
If you haven't already, trade O'Reilly to an owner who hasn't noticed the recent slide in points and ice-time. O'Reilly's overall numbers are still good so he should remain marketable for a little while longer.

Michael Del Zotto (D), NYR - 23GP, 5G, 11A, 16P
Del Zotto continues to impress on the Rangers' blueline. He has 3 points in his past 5 games and is still among the offensive leaders on Defence. Importantly, MDZ is averaging close to 20 minutes as the season progresses. The rookie is being trusted in more situations which should only help with his development. He has shown that he is more then just a PP specialist and should continue to blossom.

Fantasy Impact:

Now would be a good time to acquire the young rearguard. His insane production to start the year has expectantly cooled off but he is still a fantasy-worthy rearguard. See if you can get him off a foolish owner who thinks MDZ is regressing.


Fantasy Hockey Tweet-Off

JFH recently participated in the "Fantasy Hockey Tweet-Off" at Fantasy Hockey Scouts.

The purpose of the "Tweet-Off" is to ask 5 Fantasy Hockey experts to answer 8 questions with answers no longer then a tweet.
Take a look and let us know how we did?


Monday, November 23, 2009

You Rub My Back, I'll Rub Yours.

Montreal trades Guillaume Latendresse to Minnesoa for Benoit Pouliot.

A good deal for both teams as they swap once-promising youngsters in the hopes that a change of scenery will ignite a fire.

Fantasy Breakdown:

Guillaume Latendresse:
Latendresse stormed onto the scene in 2006-2007, scoring 16 goals as a 19 year-old. A big winger with good speed, Guillaume used his size to bang bodies and create space for him and his linemates. Latendresse has since battled injuries and hasn't progressed from that impressive rookie year. He has struggled this year with just 2 goals and 1 assist in 23 games averaging just 11:23 of ice-time a night.

The change of scenery should help as he will no longer have to play under the microscope of Montreal. Watch him over the next few weeks to see if he can regain his confidence.

Benoit Pouliot:
The 2005 4th overall pick has developed at a snail's pace. Pouliot was tabbed as a poor man's Vincent Lecavalier in his draft year, a lanky, skilled centre that just needed to add some muscle. Although he never scored more then 65 points in the OHL, Pouliot was viewed as a late-bloomer who projected well as an NHLer. Since the draft, he has struggled to put up points at any level. Benoit had his best year statistically in the AHL last season with 24 points in 30 games. He earned a regular spot with the Wild this year but has struggled to take advantage of the opportunity with just 4 points in 14 games - averaging a mere 6:58 of ice-time.

A quick start in Montreal could save his career, but we're betting against it. Keep an eye on Pouliot but he should be in the AHL by January.


Just Fantasy Hockey: Week 9 Forecaster

Nov 23rd-29th

We enter week 9 slowly approaching the halfway point in most fantasy leagues. This week is the busiest week of the NHL schedule with more teams playing 4 games then 3. Moreover, most of the action occurs Monday through Saturday which means most of your guys will be playing on the same night. So playing your match ups this week is the key to success.

Let’s check out the week ahead.

4 Game Week: Anaheim, Boston, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Nashville, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, St. Louis.

3 Game Week: Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minnesota, Montreal, New Jersey, San Jose, Tampa Bay, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington.

Teams to Watch:

Anaheim: Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Phoenix

The Ducks are the only team playing all 4 games at home. While that is a good thing for the Ducks offense it is quite the opposite for their defence. Anaheim sits dead last in GAA at home with a GAA of 3.50

Fantasy Spin: Hiller is struggling and will be pressed on home ice. There are better fantasy options in net this week. Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan are solid plays in any fantasy format.

Colorado: Philadelphia, Nashville, @Minnesota, Minnesota

Daily leagues are all about maximizing your match ups and here is your best chance. Great week for your Avs as Philadelphia is in the midst of a 5 game road trip, Nashville has the worst offence in the NHL, and they finish off the week with a home and home series against the League's 5th worst offence.

Fantasy Spin: Anderson should get 3 of the four starts and is a must play this week.

New York Islanders: @Toronto, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, @ New Jersey

The Islanders surprisingly have a favourable match up defensively and could offer some solid numbers this week. The Isle’s enter the week as the 4th best defensive team at home allowing just over 2 goals against in their 9 games so far this season. With two homes games against Toronto and New Jersey, who are both in the bottom half of league scoring, the Islanders could put up strong numbers.

Fantasy Spin: Look for Roloson and Biron to split the starts in the upcoming week.

Pittsburgh: @Florida, Montreal, @New York Islanders, New York Rangers.

Be careful playing your Penguins this week because they are facing some pretty hot teams. In addition, the Penguins surprisingly have the 13th ranked offense and have been struggling of late. Finally, the Pittsburgh blue line is banged up right now with Letang and Goligoski out, while Orpik and Gonchar just got back into the line up.

Fantasy Spin: Fleury has just 2 wins in his last 6 starts with a GAA and SV% of 3.32 and .885 respectively. There are better options in a busy week. Crosby and Malkin are good but not as strong plays when looking at the choices owners have in the up coming week.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nikita Filatov: Russian Off to KHL

Coach Hitchcock strikes again.

Columbus Blue Jackets' winger Nikita Filatov has been loaned to CSKA of the KHL. The 19 year-old scored just 2 goals in 13 games this year for the Jackets, averaging a mere 8:07 minutes of ice-time a game. Columbus did the same thing to the young Russian last year, as he saw limited action in just 8 NHL games while spending most of the year in the AHL - though he did net his first NHL hat trick.

Notorious for bringing along young talent at a snail's pace, Coach Ken Hitchcock refused to give Filatov big minutes to show what he can do - evidenced by his season-high of 14:06 in a 9-1 loss to the Red Wings. Filatov was often lining up on the 4th line and receiving minimal powerplay time. Hitchcock does not like to expose his young talent to big minutes until he feels they are responsible in all three zones. Second year winger Jakub Voracek seems to be miles ahead of Nikita in this field as he is playing in all situations. Hitchcock did the same thing to another teenage star in Gilbert Brule which stunted his offensive development before trading him to Edmonton in the off-season.

Fantasy Impact:

If you own Filatov in a keeper league, this is actually good news. He will go to Russia and get the ice-time he needs to develop his elite offensive skills. Remember, coming out of the 2008 Draft, Filatov was thought to have as much offensive upside, if not more, as #1 pick Steven Stamkos. Filatov will also likely play for Russia at the upcoming WJHC in Saskatoon and should be one of the more dominant players. Lets face it, his game was not developing while getting limited ice-time under Ken Hitchcock. The Jackets realized it and so should you. Hold onto this kid, he could regain his confidence and end up beign the rookie of the year next season.


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey: Week 8 Forecaster

Week 8 brings us another moderate week in the NHL schedule, allowing owners to choose from plenty of teams playing 3 games. With only 4 teams playing 4 games this week, owners in leagues that offer weekly roster changes will have to look at the best match ups available to maximize roster spots.

4 Game Week: Florida, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Tampa Bay

3 Game Week: Anaheim, Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Chicago, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Los Angeles, Nashville, Montreal, New Jersey, New York Islanders, Ottawa, Pittsburgh, San Jose, Toronto, Washington

2 Game Week: Minnesota, New York Rangers, St. Louis, Vancouver

Teams to watch:

Pittsburgh: Anaheim, @Ottawa, @ Atlanta

This schedule couldn’t have come at a better time for Malkin and Crosby owners. With Malkin just back in the line up and Crosby breaking his pointless streak, the Penguins now face three teams that just cant keep the puck of out the net. The Ducks currently rank 26th in total defence while Atlanta and Ottawa sit 18th and 19th respectively, so look for the Pens to capitalize.

Fantasy Spin: The Penguins have been banged up the last couple of weeks and are now slowly getting healthy. Look for Malkin and Crosby to lead the way with an extremely strong week.

Philadelphia: New Jersey, @Los Angeles, @San Jose, @Phoenix

The Flyers offer the best option for owners looking to take advantage of a team playing 4 games this week. Philadelphia has played 11 of its first 16 games at home and now embark on their first major road trip. They play 8 times in a 13 day stretch starting with New Jersey. Six of those 8 games are on the road.

Fantasy Spin: The strong Flyers offense will be tested in the upcoming week and Ray Emery should have a moderate week as he played extremely well over the past two weeks. Play all your Flyers this week but be weary of the long road trip ahead.

Atlanta: Boston, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay

The leagues #1 offence entering week 8 has three home tilts on tap this week. Kovalchuk is the only big name on the Thrashers team but they offer many lesser “name value” guys who contribute on a fantasy level. Pavelec continues to post decent first year numbers with a 3.02 GAA and a .924 SV% over the last two weeks.

Fantasy Spin: Kovalchuk is a must start this week, while Peverly and Antropov have been hot of late and should get some consideration.

New York Islanders: @Boston, @Minnesota, @St.Louis

This week has serious fantasy value written all over it for Long Island. The Wild, Bruins and Blues sit 25th, 26th and 28th in goals per game giving Roloson and Biron an apparent easy week between the pipes. With Dipietro’s return on the horizon, the Islanders will be shopping Biron and will likely showcase his talents against weaker offensive teams to maximize his value.

Fantasy Spin: If you are looking for a cheap, good play in a league that has 2 Goalie spots, Biron is your guy. He will likely get 2 of the 3 starts this week and has been strong of late, putting up better GAA and SV% than Roloson.

Buffalo: Florida, Boston, @ Ottawa

The Sabres have the NHL's second best GAA and face three teams in the bottom half of total offense. Ryan Miller has been hot all year and should get all three starts this week.

Fantasy Spin: Miller is a must play this week and should continue to put up stellar numbers against teams that just cant seem to light the lamp.


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey - Between the Pipes - Week 7

There were a couple of major moves with Hiller and Ward falling out of the top five this week. Both Ward and Hiller are on struggling teams right now which is softening their fantasy value. All three new entries to the top 20 are goalies which have strengthened their hold on the majority of future starts for their respective teams.

Let’s check out the rankings and see who made the biggest jumps and falls.

(Ranking system is based on expected performance in standard fantasy hockey league categories including Wins, Shut Outs, GAA and SV %)

Goaltender - Current Rank - Last Week Rank
H. Lundqvist - 1 - 1
R. Luongo - 2 - 2
E. Nabakov - 3 - 4
T. Thomas - 4 - 7
M. Brodeur - 5 - 8
M.A Fleury - 6 - 6
R. Miller - 7 - 10
N. Backstrom - 8 - 9
I. Bryzgalov - 9 - 12
J. Hiller - 10 - 5
C. Ward - 11 - 3
C. Anderson - 12 - 14
R. Emery - 13 - 17
N. Khabibulin -14 - 11
P. Rinne - 15 - 20
T. Vokoun - 16 - 19
C. Osgood - 17 - N/R
M. Kiprusof f - 18 - 16
C. Huet - 19 - N/R
S. Varlamov - 20 - N/R

Cam Ward - His value just keeps on slipping. Posting a awful GAA of 3.62 and .863 SV% over the last 6 starts with 0 wins he is no longer worthy of a top 5 spot. To make matters worse, Carolina’s offence ranks dead last in the NHL. Unless Ward can start to steal some wins, he will continue to fall.

Tim Thomas - Thomas’ owners are finally getting what they paid for at the beginning of the season. He seems to have “righted his ship” with posting a GAA of 1.99 and a SV% of .929 over his last 5 starts. However, he only had 2 wins over that same span, but that and extensive injuries, has contributed to the Bruins struggling offence. When Savard and Lucic return to action they will bolster the offence and it will give Thomas some much needed support.

Craig Anderson - The Avalanche seem to be hitting the wall after their hot start. Anderson last week had 2 starts with zero wins with a GAA and SV% of 3.04 and .909 respectively. He is still a good fantasy option, but he will be subject to hot and cold streaks on a young up and coming team.

Chris Osgood - Osgood is on pace to start 63 games this year, that’s a far cry from the 46 and 43 games he started over the last two years, which has limited his fantasy value. Howard’s ineffectiveness has only increased Osgood value.

Pikka Rinne - Rinne now has the firm hold of the starting job in Nashville. His time share scenario with Ellis has handcuffed Rinne’s value. Look for Rinne’s value to rise if he can show that he is up to the challenge of being a starter once again. Last week he had 2 wins in 2 starts, a shut out, a GAA of 1.01 and GAA of .961.

Tomas Vokoun - Vokoun was scorching hot last week posting 2 shut outs in two games, which came at the hands of Carolina and St. Louis, which rank 30th and 23rd respectively in total offence. Until he can prove he can play better against more potent offences, he will stay in the 15-20 range at year end.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey - Week 6 Rookie Report

Time for our weekly segment that takes a look at the movers and shakers in this year's Freshman Class.

James van Riemsdyk (RW), PHI - 10GP, 2G, 11A, 13 PTS
We have a new leader in the Rookie scoring race as JVR put up 6 points over his past 3 games. While he is averaging a mere 13:01 a game, the Flyers are ensuring that when he is out there, he has some skill to play with. A natural goal-scorer, JVR should start finishing more as his confidence grows.
Fantasy Impact:
JVR is having a very productive start to his career and his ice-time should gradually grow as the season progresses. That said, this is a talented team that is fighting some injuries. Expect his production to slow down as he hits a wall or two throughout the year. He should finish near 60 points and have a strong shot at the Calder.

Semyon Varlamov (G), WSH - 5GS, 5W, 3.20GAA, .895SV%
Varlamov is a perfect 5-0 to start the year, but his peripheral numbers leave much to be desired. After an outstanding stretch in last year's playoff run, Varlamov was one of the most hyped picks at fantasy drafts this September. Expected to assume the #1 job in Washington for the next decade, Coach Bruce Boudreau broke camp by stating he would split starts with Varlamov and incumbent Jose Theodore. In fact Theodore started the first game and had been the better goalie up until last week.
Fantasy Impact:
Look for Varlamov to slowly grab more starts and his numbers should improve - slightly. He will finish the year with a ton of wins but don't expect great GAA and SV% numbers with that suspect Caps' defence. Owners invested too much in Varlmov at the draft so they won't be selling anytime soon.

Tom Wandell (C), DAL - 14GP, 2G, 4A, 6PTS
Wandell has emerged over the past week with 3 points in his past 2 games - including playing a career-high 19:23 against the Panthers. The Swedish Centre is developing nice chemistry with hyped phenom Fabian Brunnstrum on the Stars 3rd line. Wandell was a late pick in the 05' Draft and put up 41 points in the SEL last year. He is averaging 15:19 a game and the Stars coaching staff are impressed with his overall game.
Fantasy Impact:
Keep an eye on Wandell. No one in your league will know him but he could be a valuable depth centre on your fantasy squad with decent upside - a classic late-bloomer.

Artem Anisimov (C), NYR - 15GP, 3G, 4A, 7PTS
Anisimov continues to produce with minimal ice-time - averaging 9:45 a game. Out of the top 10 rookie scorers, Anisimov is averaging at least 3 minutes less of ice-time a game...and he's 7th in scoring by the way. It should be noted that Anisimov played a career-high 16:20 this week against MIN - a game Marian Gaborik missed due to injury.
Fantasy Impact:
As we have stated all along, Anisimov will produce with limited minutes but will be the main beneficiary of the first long-term injury to Marian Gaborik. It will happen and when it does, grab Artem before a rival GM does. He should finish with 45+ points.

Jonas Gustavsson (G), TOR - 4GS, 1W, 3.21GAA, .892SV%
OK, the numbers don't look great and the team isn't winning but trust us on this one. "The Monster" has already wrestled the #1 spot away from incumbent Vesa Toskala. Gustavsson seems to be getting more confident with each start and Toronto's D will only get better. He has a huge frame and lightning quick reflexes.The Monster should spend more time in net then out of it this year and challenge Varlamov for top rookie goaltender honours.
Fantasy Impact:
Again, this is a buy-low situation. The Leafs are a decent team, despite their horrendous start. They will play .500 hockey the rest of the way and Gustavsson will get the majority of starts. Grab him now and you could have yourself a solid #2 Fantasy Goalie for a cheap price.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Just Fantasy Hockey - Week 6 Forecaster

After a busy week 5, things slow down a little in week 6. With only a handful of teams playing a busy 4 game fantasy week, many teams play a standard 3 game schedule. It’s key for owners to maximize their line ups with teams with favourable match-ups.

4 Game Week: Atlanta, NY Islanders, Phoenix, Tampa Bay.

3 Game Week: Anaheim, Boston, Buffalo, Calgary, Carolina, Colorado, Columbus, Dallas, Detroit, Edmonton, Florida, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Jersey, NT Rangers, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, San Jose, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington

2 Game Week: Chicago, Minnesota, Nashville, Ottawa

Teams to watch

Philadelphia: Tampa Bay, @Buffalo, St. Louis
The Flyers should capitalize as all three opponents rank in the bottom half of goals for. With the Flyers potent offence which ranks 4th overall, look the Flyers to have an extremely strong week.
Fantasy Spin: Play all your healthy Flyers with confidence. Gagner and Briere remain out with injuries for this week. Ray Emery should continue his strong play of late with the possibility of Boucher getting his second start of the season against the Blues.

Washington: @New Jersey, @Florida, Florida
The Caps have a tough challenge to start of the week with a match against the Devils, but they should finish off strong. AO and company are 2nd in the league in goals per game, while the Panthers are 2nd worst. The goaltending scenario seems to be getting clearer with the edge going to Theodore.
Fantasy Spin: With Ovechkin’s injury status unknown going into Monday, fantasy owners should consider him day to day and dress the super-star for the week. If he misses the game against the Devils and returns for the back to back against the Panthers, he should still have a very successful week. Look for Laich, Semin and Fleischmann to contribute while AO is out.

Phoenix: Los Angeles, @Colorado, Chicago, @Anaheim
The on ice success of the ‘Yotes this year has surprised most people, especially after all the off ice turmoil that surrounds the team. Phoenix continues to play well and there is no reason why the leagues number one defence shouldn’t continue. Phoenix currently sits 21st in scoring and will have a tough week against Colorado and Chicago who sit 2nd and 5th respectively in team GAA.
Fantasy Spin: Find better options for your Phoenix forwards, but Bryzgalov is a must start every game this week.

Atlanta: @Montreal, Columbus, @New York Islanders, St. Louis
The Thrashers, on paper, have the most favourable match-up for any team playing four games this week. The Canadiens, Blue Jackets and Islanders all sit in the bottom third in Team GAA, and with Kovalchuk out, the question is can the leagues 6th overall offence keep on clicking.
Fantasy Spin: With Kovalchuk out, the play of Rich Peverly has contributed to the Thrashers success. Goaltender Ondrej Pavelec’s strong play continues to give the Thrashers a means to win night in and night out.

Nashville: @Anaheim, @ Los Angeles
The Predators offence sits dead last in total offence and the only real fantasy story going on in Nashville is between the pipes. Rinne recorded a shut-out in week 5 and looks to have taken the lead for the number one goaltending spot.
Fantasy Spin: Rinne has outplayed Ellis of late and with a light schedule may get both starts this week. Strong play from J.P. Dumont and Shea Weber are Nashville’s primary fantasy weapons right now.

Chicago: @Phoenix, @ Colorado
Jonathan Toews should not factor back into the line-up this week after he continues to suffer from concussion like symptoms. Huet has played strong of late, which provides the Black Hawks with the confidence needed to excel at their offensive style of play.
Fantasy Spin: Patrick Kane and Sharpe continue to lead the Hawks in the stat department with Barker and Keith leading the d-men in points. With the defensive systems that Phoenix and Colorado play, look for the games to be low scoring and tightly played.


Players to Watch - Week 6

Tomas Fleischmann (C) – Washington
Has seen time on the top powerplay unit since his return.

Steve Reinprecht (C) – Florida
One of the only Panthers consistently producing at the moment.

Daniel Winnik (C) – Phoenix
The young center has 6 points in his last 5 games.

Phil Kessel (RW) - Toronto
Should make his Leafs debut this week providing some much needed finish to the line-up.

Erik Cole (LW) – Carolina
Returning from injury, hopes he can help jump start a stagnate Hurricanes offense.

Michael Grabner (RW) – Vancouver – 0G – 0A - 0PTS
Alex Goligoski (D) – Pittsburgh – 2G – 1A - 3PTS
James Wright (C) – Tampa Bay – 0G – 0A - 0PTS
Wayne Simmonds (RW) – Los Angeles – 0G – 0A - 0PTS
David Perron (LW) – St. Louis – 2G – 1A - 3PTS


Just Fantasy Hockey: Saturday Night Round-Up

There were 11 games in the NHL last night. Lets break down the key fantasy performers in each.

BOS defeats EDM 2-0
Bruins Centre Vladimir Sobotka had a goal and an assist in just 10:12 of ice-time. Sobotka was one of JFH's "Deeper Sleepers" as he was expected to lock down a spot on one of Boston's top 3 lines after the Phil Kessel trade. The talented pivot had played very well in the AHL over the past couple of seasons but couldn't crack the deep Bruins' roster. With the injury to Marc Savard, Sobotka has become the 3rd line centre in Beantown and is developing great chemistry with hulking winger Blake Wheeler. Sobotka has 3 points in 5 games, while averaging just 10:34 of ice-time. Look for his icetime to gradually rise and his production should follow. Our "Deeper Sleeper" projection of 39 points is still quite possible. Grab him off FA if you need a depth centre with upside.

PHI defeats CAR 6-1
Philly Dman Matt Carle had a goal and 2 assists while playing 24:38. Carle is off to a great start this season with 12 points in 11 games. More importantly, he's averaging 25:07 a game as he is finally being trusted to play in all situations. Carle has struggled since setting a career high of 42 points in his rookie season with San Jose. Since then, he has been moved to Tampa Bay, then Philly as he struggles to find consistency in his game. The 25 year-old now looks very confident on the Flyers' blueline. He has always had great offensive instincts but now looks to be bringing them every night. While he won't keep this pace up, Carle should be able to set new career highs this year. See if you can get him off an owner who thinks his hot start is just a mirage.

ATL defeats OTT 3-1
Thrashers' Goalie Ondrej Pavelec absolutely stood on his head in this game stopping 50 shots for the victory. The Thrashers are high on this 22 year-old goalie and expected him to battle incumbent Kari Lehtonen for starts this season. Well, with Lehtonen assuming his natural position on IR, Pavelec has had the opportunity to run with the #1 job and he hasn't disappointed. Pavelec comes with a pedigree as he was a 2nd round pick in 2005 and has been dominant at the AHL level. Grab this youngster if you are in a keeper league as his future looks bright.

NJ defeats TB 2-1
Not a lot of fantasy news in this game, but Lightning winger Steven Stamkos did notch his 10th of the year. He now has 10 goals and 15 points in just 11 games and looks to be the Lightning's most dangerous forward each game. Stamkos is the real deal and will be treated with superstar status entering next year's draft. See if you can trade for him now as he will only get more expensive as the season progresses.

MTL defeats Toronto 5-4
Leafs Dman Tomas Kaberle put up a goal and 3 assists in this game. He now has an amazing 10 points in his past 4 games and leads all NHL Dman with 17 points this season. While Kaberle won't keep up this torrid pace, we always expected him to have a bounce back year. Surrounded by tougher players, Kaberle is feeling more confident and comfortable with his role on the ice. His great vision should allow him to flirt with 60 points this year. Grab him if you can but don't overpay for the past 4 games.

NYI defeat BUF 5-0
A bit of a shocker in Long Island as the Isles spanked one of the League's hottest teams. Islander winger Jeff Tambellini scored a hat trick in only 13:14 on the ice. Tambellini now has 6 goals and 7 points in just 8 games, while averaging a mere 11:54 a night. Tambellini tore up the AHL whenever he was down there, but hadn't been able to solidify a regular spot on the Isles. He played 65 games with the big club last year but only registered 7 goals and 15 points. A highly-skilled winger, Tambellini could find himself playing with John Tavares in the near future. Keep an eye on him and be ready to pounce if his ice-time increases.

MIN defeats PIT 2-1
Not much to talk about here, other then a great game by Wild Goalie Niklas Backstrom. Backstrom made 34 saves for his 5th victory of the season. He has great numbers with a 2.50 GAA and a .916 SV%, however his 5 wins in 12 games is his downfall. Backstrom is a top goalie if your league features GAA and SV% categories but is nothing more then an average goalie in leagues that only reward Goalie Wins.

FLA defeats STL 4-0
Panthers' Centre Nathan Horton had a goal and an assist in 19:47 of ice-time. Horton now has 7 points in his past 3 games and 10 points in 12 games on the year. Horton is putting it together after a slow start and is on pace to flirt with his career high of 62 points. Horton always seems to run hot and cold but would be much more valuable if he gets traded out of Florida. That said, at 24, he could be primed for a breakout year. If you can get him cheap, go for it.

NSH defeats DAL 4-2
Pred's winger JP Dumont had 2 assists in 17:15 of ice-time and now has 11 points in just 9 games.
If you take out his 5 point game against OTT, Dumont has 6 points in 8 games which is about what you can expect from the crafty veteran. See if you can sell high on Dumont as he has never been a point-per-game player and is not about to at 31 years of age. His career high is 72 points so don't expect any more then that, regardless of his hot start.

PHX defeats ANA 3-2
Another of our "Deeper Sleepers," Ducks Dman James Wisniewski had an assist and 2 fights for 10 PIMS last night. Wisniewski now has 9 assists in 9 games and 16 PIMS while averaging 25:24 of ice-time. He is playing in all situations, including time on a talented Ducks PP. James has always possessed grit, skill and smarts, but has struggled to stay healthy for an entire season. If he can stay healthy, he could be a top 20 Dman this season. Grab him off FA if he is still there or see if you can get him cheap off an owner who doesn't appreciate Wisniewski's great start.

DET defeats CAL 3-1
Big story here is a decent performance from Wings Goalie Chris Osgood. Ozzie made 20 saves for the victory, putting in his best effort of the season. There has been a lot of talk about the Wings needing another goalie but be patient with Osgood. He has always been a hot and cold goalie and had a tough start to the year. If he can string together a couple of good games, he'll keep his stranglehold on the #1 job. Keep a close eye on this situation.